Arizona: Steps Being Taken to Protect Elk and Deer from Chronic Wasting Disease

Contact: Ellary TuckerWilliams, Inter-Mountain Western States Coordinator

With the 2019 archery deer season kicking off, Arizona Game and Fish (AZGFD) released a statement reminding hunters of a new rule, which regulates the possession and transport of harvested cervids and associated animal parts to reduce the likelihood of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) transmission into the state. 

Though CWD has not yet been confirmed in Arizona, it has been verified in the neighboring states of Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. According to Arizona Game and Commission Rule R12-4-305, out-of- state hunters may only bring the following deer and elk parts into the state:

  • Meat that is boneless or has been commercially butchered and packaged
  • Finished taxidermy mounts
  • Skulls that are mounted or clean skulls/skull plates without any meat or soft tissue
  • Antlers that are hard-horned or velvet antlers that have been taxidermied
  • Hides without any meat or soft tissue
  • Teeth without any tissue attached

AZGFD strongly encourages all hunters who successfully harvest deer or elk, especially within Units 1, 2, 3, 12, 13, 27, 28, and 31, to submit heads for CWD testing due to the close proximity of neighboring states with established CWD positive cervid populations. Not only will this effort help to improve AZGFD’s ability to monitor for CWD, but it gives hunters the peace of mind knowing whether or not their hard-earned meat is CWD free. Though there have been no cases of CWD in humans, public health officials do not recommend that humans consume meat products from animals testing positive for CWD.

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